Order, Words, & Voices 05.15.22

Order

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Pre Worship Audio (10:15am)

Music 1/Call to Worship (10:30am) Worship Team

The Solid Rock

Shout To The Lord

Prayer Renee

Scripture Luke 7:11-17 Martha

Music 2 Desert Song

Breathe On Me Breath Of God (Trentham) Worship Team

Message Moved Rick

Congregational Response 

Benediction Peyton

Music 3 Trust In You Worship Team

Community (Gallery View) Rick

Closing Peace                                         Rick

Closing Audio Words and Voices

Welcome/Music 1

The Solid Rock

CCLI Song # 25417

Edward Mote | William Batchelder Bradbury

Verse 1

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name

Chorus

On Christ the solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand

[The prophet Isaiah spoke God’s words of truth to a people who had yet to accept any words except for the words they wanted to hear. Words of hope, compassion, empathy, and even persistence even though the words were dismissed. Words such as…

The wilderness and dry land shall be glad; the desert shall rejoice; the crocus shall blossom with joy and shouting. God Shall strengthen the weak hands and make firm the feeble knees. 

 “Be strong, do not fear! Here is your God. He will come and save you.”]

Verse 2

When darkness veils His lovely face
I rest on His unchanging grace
In ev’ry high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil

Chorus

On Christ the solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand

[The people saw no need for words of hope, compassion, empathy, and definitely no need for a persistent God. Although they refused to listen to the needed words, still they were a gift to these people. These were words for a people a century before their coming exile and enslavement. However, these were a people who had settled in to indifference – later, they were words for a people that witnessed the brutal cross and an empty tomb. Now, they are words for us…

The eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be opened; the lame shall leap, and the tongue of the speechless shall sing for joy. For waters shall break forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert; the burning sand shall become a pool and the thirsty ground springs of water; the grass shall become reeds and rushes.]

Verse 3

His oath His covenant His blood
Support me in the whelming flood
When all around my soul gives way
He then is all my hope and stay

Chorus

On Christ the solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand

[Words unheeded, words thrown out with the garbage become words exchanged for lies and deceit. But, God continued, and continues, to give us these words of Hope, Compassion, Empathy, revealing God’s Persistence.

A highway called the Holy Way shall be there on which not even fools shall go astray. Nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it; but the redeemed shall walk there. The ransomed of the Lord shall return with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.]

Shout To The Lord

CCLI Song # 1406918. Darlene Zschech

Verse 1

My Jesus my Saviour
Lord there is none like You
All of my days I want to praise
The wonders of Your mighty love

My comfort my shelter
Tower of refuge and strength
Let every breath all that I am
Never cease to worship You

Chorus

Shout to the Lord
All the earth let us sing
Power and majesty
Praise to the King


Mountains bow down
And the seas will roar
At the sound of Your name


I sing for joy
At the work of Your hands
Forever I’ll love You
Forever I’ll stand
Nothing compares to the promise
I have in You

Chorus

Shout to the Lord
All the earth let us sing
Power and majesty
Praise to the King


Mountains bow down
And the seas will roar
At the sound of Your name

I sing for joy
At the work of Your hands
Forever I’ll love You
Forever I’ll stand
Nothing compares to the promise
I have in You

Prayer

[Please join in the Lord’s prayer, words are on the screen] [7 slides begin] 

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: 

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. 

Amen.

(Matthew 6:9-13 KJV)

Scripture

Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went with him. As he approached the gate of the town, a man who had died was being carried out. 

He was his mother’s only son, and she was a widow, and with her was a large crowd from the town. When the Lord saw her, he was moved with compassion for her and said to her, “Do not cry.” Then he came forward and touched the bier, and the bearers stopped. 

And Jesus said, “Young man, I say to you, rise!” The dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. 

Fear seized all of them, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has risen among us!” and “God has visited his people!” This word about him spread throughout the whole of Judea and all the surrounding region.

Luke 7:11-17

Music 2 

Desert Song

CCLI Song # 5060793  Brooke Ligertwood

Verse 1

This is my prayer in the desert
When all that’s within me feels dry
This is my prayer in my 

hunger and need
My God is the God who provides

Verse 2

This is my prayer in the fire
In weakness or trial or pain
There is a faith proved 

of more worth than gold
So refine me Lord through the flame

Chorus

I will bring praise  I will bring praise
No weapon formed against me 

shall remain
I will rejoice  I will declare
God is my victory and He is here

Verse 3

This is my prayer in the battle
When triumph is still on its way
I am a conqueror 

and co-heir with Christ
So firm on His promise I’ll stand

Chorus

I will bring praise  I will bring praise
No weapon formed 

against me shall remain
I will rejoice  I will declare
God is my victory and He is here

Bridge

All of my life in ev’ry season
You are still God
I have a reason to sing
I have a reason to worship

Verse 4

This is my prayer in the harvest
When favour and providence flow
I know I’m filled to be emptied again
The seed I’ve received I will sow

Breathe On Me Breath Of God

CCLI Song # 99481

Edwin Hatch | Robert Jackson

Verse 1

Breathe on me breath of God
Fill me with life anew
That I may love what Thou dost love
And do what Thou wouldst do

Verse 2

Breathe on me breath of God
Until my heart is pure
Until with Thee I will one will
To do and to endure

Verse 3

Breathe on me breath of God
Till I am wholly Thine
Till all this earthly part of me
Glows with Thy fire divine

Message – Moved

  • [slide] Close to 2,000 years before Jesus’ Resurrection, the unknown God gave a promise to an idol worshiper named Abraham – a promise that would change the relationship of the Mighty God and the People who would choose to accept God’s offer to be the God’s people.
  • [slide] It was a promise that would make this people ‘a people’ moving them from being afraid of the mighty scary God to a known merciful God – they would know God as Lord. A designation that was monumental, a new identifier that would put a metaphoric human face on God. 
  • [slide] Around twelve hundred years later, these words from God, the God of Abraham,  were echoed through the voice of God’s prophet Isaiah. 
  • [slide] About 700 years later, the essence of these same words would be heard visually as God spoke through the human birth, life, ministry, and death, of God’s son Jesus, meaning now, the chosen people knew God not only as mighty and Lord, but also as deliverer and Messiah, and now, the metaphoric human face was a reality living among them. 
  • [slide] Three decades later, those words would take on feet as a persistent and undeterred group of women witnessed the death of Jesus refusing to quit until they found the resurrected body of Jesus. Now God was known as Mighty, Lord, Deliverer, Messiah, Resurrected life, and Friend. 
  • [slide] For decades following, decades that turned into centuries, which turned into over 2 thousand years, these words were voiced, sung, written, and demonstrated, those same words were taught through the passion of the apostles, and eventually us, all who now knew God as Mighty, Lord, Deliverer, Messiah, Resurrected life, Friend, Helper, Encourager, Savior, and the very presence of Love.

[slide] God’s words, voiced from the mouth of the prophet, were intended as warning to a rebellious and wayward people. The intriguing thing about these words is that while God was calling out a people who were ignoring God, still God used words of encouragement and hope. [slide] Words like glad, [slide] rejoice, [slide] blossom, and [slide] joy; God used instructions such as [slide] strengthen weak knees and hands, [slide] be strong and do not fear; he gave promises that [slide] God will come and save you, [slide] the eyes of the blind and the ears of the deaf will open, [slide] the lame shall leap like a deer, and [slide] the tongue of the speechless will sing for joy; God predicted, before anyone realized that they were thirsty, that [slide] waters shall break forth in the wilderness and [slide] streams in the desert, [slide] burning sands shall become pools and the [slide] thirsty ground will be immersed by springs of the water; and most beautifully, God [slide] painted a picture of a Holy Highway on which no lion nor ravenous beast shall be present, a holy way on which the redeemed shall walk freely, the ransomed of the Lord shall return with singing and an everlasting joy and gladness shall be evident and all sorrow and sighing shall be gone.

[slide] Remember, these words were patiently given to a people who, not only refused to listen to the words, but repeatedly attempted to shut the words from God up.

[slide] God used words to move, but those words could only move a people who were listening and intentionally hearing. A people who were willing to be moved by compassion and mercy.

[Filler Slide]

God’s intentional words are words that come from the very nature and character of God. Words that call us to action, words that come from God’s compassion and hope. Words that reveal God. It is no surprise then, that Jesus would act, and react out of that same compassion, mercy,  and hope. Jesus heard the words crying out for compassion and the unspoken cries for hope. Jesus’ response to those words pointed to hope, they gave hope – words that became actions, actions that gave life.

Jesus moved by the words of humans, just as words and cries had been a catalyst for every move of God. Let’s take a moment to truly grasp this truth.

  1. [slide] Every action of God is out of compassion, beginning with exiling of Adam and Eve from the garden; banishing their murderous son, Cain; the flooding of the earth; the scattering of the arrogant from Babel; rescuing the wicked in Sodom from, and by, their own destruction; and so many acts that we do not automatically see as compassionate, plus we have those actions that are undeniably merciful. All to provide hope to those directly involved leaving ripples that bless all, even us thousands of years later. 
  2. [slide] God’s words to those who have dismissed, ignored, disobeyed, and sometimes have just wandered away, are always corrective, compassionate, and ultimately redemptive – not punitive. Even when they are words of human consequence. The coats for Adam and Eve, the protective shield for Cain, the the ark for God’s creation, the scattering to open eyes and hearts, the destruction of Sodom to protect from their own actions and hardened hearts.
  3. [slide] God hears our cries long before we recognize our need. God pursues those who call out to him and even more persistently those who have forgotten him. 
  4. [slide] God gives hope until we are no longer able to receive hope, til we can no longer see that we need hope. And, God persistently does not reflect our negativity, but, instead, responds with compassion and mercy even though we may be at our most unlovable state.

[Slide] Grasp This – God loves us even when we are at our most unlovable state of being.

Today’s Passage is a very simple one. Two different moments, found in the same chapter of the gospel of Luke. Moments that took place early on in the ministry of Jesus. Two very different people hopeless and in need of some compassion and mercy. 

A Roman centurion had a highly valued slave who was ill and close to death. The centurion heard about Jesus and sent some Jewish elders to ask Jesus to come and heal his slave. The elders appealed to Jesus earnestly, saying, “This man is worthy to have you do this for him, for he loves our people, and, even though he is not a Jew, he built our synagogue for us.” Jesus went with them, but the centurion sent friends to tell Jesus, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; therefore I did not presume to come to you. But please speak the word where you are so my servant will be healed. For, like you, I also am a man with authority over many, I say to one, ‘Do this, and they do what I have ordered.’ Jesus heard this and was amazed at him, he said to the crowd, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found another who understands who I am.” When the Jewish leaders arrived back at the home of the centurion, they found the slave in good health.

The other hopeless person in need of compassion and mercy was a widow left with only one son. Her culture held no respect for a widow, she had no worth, and for most was only a burden. No money, now home or land ownership, no servants, no where to go, no one to care for her. Ever since her husband had died her only hope had been her son, only he could assure she would be cared for and remembered.

As we meet this women, she is engulfed in mourners and spectators. Her only son, her only hope, had died she is now surrounded by those who respected and loved her son. Even though she immersed in the grief of the others, she is well aware that she will soon stand alone, dismissed, and hopeless. She is not a person of power, she is probably not even a person that is very known, even to this crowd. There is no one who is going to go to Jesus on her behalf,  there is no one concerned about her future. She stands in a crowd just waiting until she will be standing alone and hopeless. Ironically, Jesus is now in town, but no one has granted her the freedom to ask Jesus, no one has given her even the smallest amount of hope that Jesus could, through his mercy and compassion, be the giver of hope to her.

The story of this woman was not an uncommon sight, in most every community, there was a pocket of women standing alone in the same situation. Standing without hope. Knowing that no one is consumed by compassion, that no one will be prompted by mercy. They are left alone to face the misery of being left alive.

This is where the story of this woman meets the God of the compassionate and merciful words voiced thousands of years before. Words that convey love, words that give hope. Jesus does not need to be begged to go to the woman, nor does he need anyone to inform him of her pain and agony. He just needs to see her, to be in her presence, to recognize her hopelessness. Upon seeing her, he encourages her to not cry, to not be consumed by her hopelessness. Jesus then touched the frame on which the pall bearers carried the coffin, they stooped down so Jesus could speak the dead body. “Young man,” Jesus said, ‘arise.” The young man sat up and began to speak. Then, Jesus gave the son back to his mother.

Jesus gave the woman her son. Jesus gave the woman hope. Jesus, prompted by the same compassion and mercy that led God to say the original words thousands of years before, now again gives those words words of life. Words of Hope. Jesus was moved by the same compassion and mercy that moves God.

Now, let us understand that the woman went back to her same situation that she had before her son died and was risen. She still had a cloud of doom over her head, maybe now it was darker as she had experienced the death of her only hope, however, now she had met hope. Now she could go on living knowing that she was not unnoticed and she was not hopeless. She could now live knowing that it is God’s compassion and mercy that moves him to action rather than her position or power. Life would still be difficult but now she was holding onto something she had not held onto before. Even in the worst of times, hope was still there, even when she could not see or feel hope it was there. It never was the crowd, it never was what she held too tightly, it was the God who moves even when she forgets God is there.

This is God, this is what God is, this is what God does. For the woman, life would surely still be hard, times would obviously still be tough, but now she could remember to persevere because she had hope, hope forgotten that had been remembered. Hope that had been lost had now been found. Hope that is all around us as well, even in the worst of times – and it does not abandon us when we forget it or turn away from it.

In sermon development, sermons are an odd beast. They are meant to teach, to enlighten, and do inspire – God brings the sermon writer along a journey to each of those. Sometimes for me, even though I will have a full sermon written, it can still be Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and even sometimes Sunday morning, before we even fully know what God wants to take to the audience the preacher is preaching to. Often, a preacher will have success with a sermon and then think it it is an effective sermon – not realizing that it is successful because it was for a particular audience. Today’s message took that agonizing path, everything written up through Thursday night has been, at his moment, preached. That does not mean there has not been a struggle. 

Preaching that moments when God gives hope in hopeless times, honestly, has been a struggle for me. I am fully aware that many of you have faced, or are facing, the desperation of losing a loved one, to struggling with a loved one, to miserable situations at work or at home, to hopeless situations that just plain and simple are not going to easily go away. In fact, the original ending of this sermon, which I preached to you have seemed disingenuous in light of our reality. That is why I added the final two paragraphs, in my attempt to make this sermon not so conceptual that it is worthless. It was not until Friday night that God gave me an ‘ah ha’ moment, where it made sense, and fits with our reality of pain and struggle.

Here is the message for us today, this moment, in our lives. 

Reality – the woman still went home, even with her son, to a dismal reality. She was still dependent on him, and now, even worse, the had recognized that truth even more in his death. He would eventually die, had maybe she would still outlive him – her desperation was actually just postponed. 

However, Jesus’ compassionate and merciful gift of hope, for her, in that moment, was not actually for that moment.

When God approaches us in our time of known or unknown need, God’s actions are not necessarily for that moment- they are giving us a deeper hope to hang on to our next hopeless moment. God’s mercy and compassion are always much bigger that our now moment.

Truth – what you recognize God doing now, is probably not actually limited to now, it is probably for later. It is now preparing you for the next human reality that will need this hope. To understand we must travel back to the day following the Sabbath that followed the Cross. Mary Magadelene and the other women, went to the grave, but, they were not going to leave there hopeless, they were sure to need hope later, so they stuck around, they waiting on Jesus, or at least a word from Jesus. 

Is this your preparatory moment?

Let’s Pray

Response – Verbal Congregational Response

Leader: God’s mercy and compassion guide his reactions and responses. 

Response: May we be a people of mercy and compassion.

Leader: God’s patience and love form his words and actions.

Response: May our words and actions be a reflection of God’s patience and love.

Leader: God’s engagements, encounters, and confrontations are the unstoppable natural redemptive outflow of his mercy and compassion.

Response: May God’s redemptive nature be our core character that our world can see.

Leader: God does not give up on us, God does not act punitively towards us, God’s love is the light that shines even when we fail to look.

Response: May we stick around until we see God, may we stay until we hear God.

Leader: God takes notice of our times of hopelessness, God reaches out in our times of isolation, God seeks us out to remind us of hope.

Response: May we remember to turn to God’s hope when hope cannot be found.

Leader: God is Love.

Response: May we also be a people of love.

Response – Music 3 

Trust In You

CCLI Song # 7025522

Lauren Daigle | Michael Farren | Paul Mabury

Verse 1

Letting go of every single dream
I lay each one down at Your feet
Every moment of my wondering
Never changes what You see

Verse 2

I’ve tried to win this war I confess
My hands are weary I need Your rest
Mighty warrior King of the fight
No matter what I face 

You’re by my side

Chorus

When You don’t move the mountains
I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters
I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers
As I cry out to You


I will trust I will trust
I will trust in You

Verse 3

Truth is You know what tomorrow brings
There’s not a day ahead 

You have not seen
So in all things be my life and breath
I want what You want Lord 

and nothing less

Chorus

When You don’t move the mountains
I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters
I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers
As I cry out to You


I will trust I will trust
I will trust in You

Bridge

You are my strength and comfort
You are my steady hand
You are my firm foundation
The Rock on which I stand


Your ways are always higher
Your plans are always good
There’s not a place where I’ll go
You’ve not already stood

Chorus

When You don’t move the mountains
I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters
I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers
As I cry out to You


I will trust I will trust
I will trust in You

Community

  • Next Sunday, May 22, Our Mission Together, Matthew 25:31-46 (Special Speaker Kyle Tubbs)
  • Pray Peace. Prayers for Ukraine – donation link at GFNorman.com

Peace

As you leave this place, may the peace of the Lord, go with you.

And also with you.

We gather here because of God’s love for us, we go from here because of God’s love for everyone out there. Go in the peace of the Lord.

Published by rickanthony1993

Husband of Andrea, Father of five, pastor of Grace Fellowship Norman OK.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: